Dating site top 5

Online dating sites and apps are the perfect solution to dating responsibly and finding someone for you. But online daters might get confused with all the selection out there, and not just the amount of potential partners out there. 

There are so many dating websites and dating apps to choose from, so how can you tell which dating app is best? No matter if you’re looking for short flings or long-term relationships, to find love or just to meet new people, this guide is here to help you pick the right dating site for you.

Dating site top 5

We looked at a range of top dating sites and apps on the market, rating for ease-of-use, features, pricing and the quality of the dating pool. Below, you’ll find our reviews of Top10.com’s top ten best free dating sites that are safe, fun, and a great way to meet your next boo or hookup!

Top10.com selects

Our Most Popular

1

Zoosk

97 Reviews

Zoosk -Organic matchmaking through technology

Exceptional

9.7

Visit Site

2

EliteSingles

88 Reviews

EliteSingles -Boutique dating for professionals

Excellent

9.2

Visit Site

3

eharmony

128 Reviews

eharmony -A science-based approach to love

Excellent

9.1

Visit Site

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A Closer Look at Our Top 10 Dating Sites and Apps

  • 1ZooskZoosk Best Dating SitesOrganic matchmaking through technologyRead Zoosk ReviewVisit Site
    • Free VersionYes
    • Pricing$12.50
    • Age Range25-45
    With over 35 million eligible singles who regularly use Zoosk, this is clearly one of the top dating sites out there, with a wide dating pool to choose from. It’s easy to use with a built-in Behavioral Matchmaking™ engine and profile verification feature to prove that users are who they claim to be. Subscriptions range in price from a 1-month plan at $29.95 to a 6-month subscription at $74.95 ($12.49/month).Pros
    • More than 35 million users
    • Behavioral matching technology
    • User-friendly app
    Cons
    • Limited features on the free version
    • Some may prefer a more manual approach
    ZooskZooskVisit Site
  • 2EliteSingles EliteSingles Best Dating SitesBoutique dating for professionalsRead EliteSingles ReviewVisit Site
    • Free VersionYes
    • Pricing$31.95
    • Age Range30-45
    If you’re a smart, single professional who’s looking for love, then EliteSingles is the dating app for you. EliteSingles claims that 85% of users are “highly educated,” which is perfect for sapiosexuals. Its intelligent matchmaking algorithm presents up to 7 potential matches per day based on your location, dating preferences, and profile personality.Pros
    • Boutique, curated matches
    • Advanced personality tests
    • Users united by common relationship goals
    Cons
    • Less interactive experience
    • Smaller user base
    EliteSinglesEliteSinglesVisit Site
  • 3eharmonyeharmony Best Dating SitesA science-based approach to loveRead eharmony ReviewVisit Site
    • Free VersionYes
    • Pricing$29.95
    • Age Range30-50
    Someone finds love every 14 minutes using eharmony, the #1 trusted dating app for serious relationships. Signup takes 3 steps: Profile Set Up, Match Preferences, and Compatibility Quiz. eharmony is not only one of the most popular online dating apps, but it’s also one of the most affordable websites with 6-, 12-, or 24-month plans for as low as $6.97/month.Pros
    • Detailed compatibility quizzes
    • Helpful conversation starters
    • SecureCall safety feature
    Cons
    • Users can’t search for matches
    • Quizzes demand time and thought
    eharmonyeharmonyVisit Site
  • 4SilverSinglesSilverSingles Best Dating SitesConnecting compatible seniorsRead SilverSingles ReviewVisit Site
    • Free VersionYes
    • Pricing$27.95
    • Age Range50 and up
    SilverSingles uses a Five Factor personality test to connect compatible seniors over the age of 50. This personality test, which covers more than 100 questions, is worth spending some time on: these answers will play a big role in your suggested matches, which figure more prominently into the user experience than other dating sites.Pros
    • Smart compatibility matching tools
    • Strong safety precautions in place
    • Users don’t need to be tech savvy
    Cons
    • Lengthy signup process
    • No manual searching
    SilverSinglesSilverSinglesVisit Site
  • 5StirstirStir is a dating app for single parents.Read Stir ReviewVisit Site
    • Free VersionYes
    • PricingFrom $16.99 a month
    • Age Range20s-40s
    Stir is an online dating app that’s designed for single parents and people interested in having children, who want a relationship. Created by Match.com, Stir is available for use on desktop and Android smartphones.Matchmaking is super simple once you create your profile. It’s expensive, which may not be ideal for a single parent, but it’s a great platform for meeting like-minded singles of all genders and sexualities, no matter your intentionsPros
    • specific dating pool (parents and people who want kids)
    • inclusive for people of different genders and sexualities
    • strong safety and security guidelines
    Cons
    • not available for iPhone users
    • expensive subscription and upgrade prices
    Stir StirVisit Site
  • 6MatchMatch Best Dating SitesTrusted site with millions of usersRead Match ReviewVisit Site
    • Free VersionYes
    • Pricing$19.99
    • Age Range25-55
    Match.com is recognized as one of the more “serious” dating websites you use when you’re ready to settle down. Pricing is a bit expensive with Standard or Premium plans ranging up to $36.99/month for 3 months or 1 full month for $62.65. As a fully subscribed member, you can email and chat with people, check profile visitors, get an annual profile review, receive monthly boosts, and attend in-person Match Events.Pros
    • Experienced, well-trusted dating site
    • High-percentage of success stories
    • Allows up to 26 profile photos
    Cons
    • 30-minute sign-up process
    • More traditional than other sites
    MatchMatchVisit Site
  • 7OurTimeOurTime Best Dating SitesDigital matchmaking for seniorsRead OurTime ReviewVisit Site
    • Free VersionYes
    • Pricing$7.49
    • Age Range50 and up
    OurTime is one of the best dating sites for women and men over 50. This dating service can be used for singles over 50 looking to find other singles over 50, or by someone younger seeking a mature partner with more life experience and wisdom to share.Pros
    • Large user base
    • Helpful customer support
    • Real-world singles events and outings
    Cons
    • Limited matching technology
    • Need paid membership to send messages
    OurTimeOurTimeVisit Site
  • 8BlackPeopleMeetBlackPeopleMeet Best Dating SitesPremier site for black singlesRead BlackPeopleMeet ReviewVisit Site
    • Free VersionYes
    • Pricing$2.99
    • Age Range30-50
    BlackPeopleMeet is the go-to dating site to find single black men and women in your area. Singles of any age looking for a serious relationship, travel partner, or friendship can use this app with ease. All members can view profiles and swipe to meet people in their area, flirt, send messages, track profile visitors, and rate daily matches. Subscribing to a paid membership unlocks additional features like email accessibility, read receipts, view who’s interested in you, and highlight your profile in Search and Inbox locations.Pros
    • Prioritizes people over algorithms
    • Easy to sign up and use
    • Reach out through message, chat, or flirt
    Cons
    • Limited compatibility matches
    • Only paying users can communicate
    BlackPeopleMeetBlackPeopleMeetVisit Site
  • 9JdatejdateJewish dating with modern flairRead Jdate ReviewVisit Site
    • Free VersionYes
    • Pricing$19.99 per month for a 6-month subscription
    • Age Range20-30
    JDate has long been the premier dating site for Jewish singles and those looking to meet them. Since the site’s inception in 1997, it’s been responsible for thousands of successful marriages and even more relationships, and it continues to be a destination for Jewish singles looking to make meaningful connections. However, faith is not a necessity, and indeed you’ll find a user base that spans many faiths, beliefs, ages, levels of observance, and lifestyles. JDate is easy to use and well-organized and has plenty of ways to connect with others, including a Secret Admirer feature that allows users to scope out each others’ interest levels before revealing themselves.Pros
    • Very active site with a large user base
    • Nice mix of religious, secular, and culturally Jewish singles
    • No need to be Jewish to join
    Cons
    • Not ideal for hookups or NST relationships
    • Limited free membership
    JdateJdateVisit Site
  • 10BeNaughtyBeNaughtyIdeal dating app for hookups and funRead BeNaughty ReviewVisit Site
    • Free VersionOffers limited features
    • Pricing$0.99-$.50 per day
    • Age Range25-45
    If you’re looking for a fast hookup or a wild night out, BeNaughty is the best place to search. It’s an online dating app that lets you find single men and women in your area who are also interested in having fun. While some members are looking for a more serious relationship or a friendship, most people on BeNaughty are just out to have some fun.Pros
    • Video and photo sharing
    • Free for females to respond
    • Flexible membership packages
    Cons
    • Not really for serious relationships
    • Smaller dating pool than most
    BeNaughtyBeNaughtyVisit Site

Breaking Down Our Top 10 Choices: Which Is Best For Your Needs?

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Zoosk-Best for behavioral matchmaking

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EliteSingles-Best for professionals

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eharmony-Best for finding your soulmate

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SilverSingles-Best for seniors over 50

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Stir -Best for single parents looking for casual or serious relationships

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Match-Best for meaningful relationship

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OurTime-Best for companionship for seniors

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BlackPeopleMeet-Best for black singles

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Jdate-Best for Jewish singles looking for love

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BeNaughty– Best for hookups

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Our rating system

Our reviews come from verified users–just like you!

The star ratings are based on the overall rating of each brand. Some reviews are provided via third party suppliers. We encourage you to write a review of your experiences with these brands.

Must Reads

10 Tips for Taking a Good Dating Profile Picture by Yourself

Read moreTop 5 Best Christian Dating Sites & Apps 2022 – Find Christian Singles OnlineRead moreBest Bisexual Dating Sites and Apps for 2022Read more

See all articles

Compare the Best Dating Sites1ZooskVisit Site2EliteSinglesVisit Site3eharmonyVisit Site4SilverSinglesVisit Site5Stir Visit Site6MatchVisit Site7OurTimeVisit Site8BlackPeopleMeetVisit Site9JdateVisit Site10BeNaughtyVisit Site
Reviews97 reviews88 reviews128 reviews104 reviews15 reviews73 reviews75 reviewsWrite Review69 reviews48 reviews
Pricing$12.50per month for 1-year subscription$31.95per month for 1-year subscription$29.95per month for 6-month subscription$27.95per month for 1-year subscriptionFrom $16.99 a month$19.99per month for 1-year subscription$7.49per month$2.99per month for 6-month subscription$19.99 per month for a 6-month subscription$0.99-$.50 per day
Free versionOffers limited features
Number of members40 millionmillion +13,000,000million +10million +million +800,000 active/monthnew members each monthUnknown30million +1,500,000 plusmillion +1 millionmillion ++750,000500,000+ US members
Recommended age range25-4530-4530-5050 and up20s-40s25-5550 and up30-5020-3025-45
Communication optionsText chatInstant messageMessage, video, smiley/icebreakerInstant messengerMessaging, video chat, likes, matchPhone (call, text, voicemails)Message, email, call, video callText, videoLikes, gifts, email messages (paid members)Instant messagingVideo and voice chat, private messaging, sending likes and winks

Frequently Asked Questions

Which dating apps actually work?

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All legitimate dating apps work. The question is: which one works for you? Pay attention to the age, interests, and locations of users to see if a site is right for you. If you’re interested in general success, however, larger sites like Zoosk and Match.com offer the best chances of making real-life connections.

What is the best dating site for serious relationships?

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Are paid dating sites better?

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How do you avoid fake profiles and scams on dating sites?

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What is the most popular dating site in the US?

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Are there any free dating sites out there?

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Reviewing the Top Dating Sites and Apps: Our Methodology

Top10.com dating site reviews are based on objective facts. Our reviews are based on research via the dating site, trusted 3rd party sites, customer reviews, and use of the product through free trials, or through paid use in some cases.

It is not always possible to use the product through its entire lifecycle. However, reviewers will try the signup process, make customer service queries to check response times (and whether it’s active 24 hours a day), and perform any other possible function within the review period. 

For the rest of the information, we rely on what the brand says about its own product offering, customer reviews, and complaints, ratings from independent agencies like the BBB, and trusted journalistic publications.

Some of the key features we compared when looking at the dating sites and apps on our list were: 

  • Price
  • Free version options
  • Number of members
  • Age range of users
  • Communication options

What Are Online Dating Sites and Apps?

Online dating sites are a great place to meet other single people online, whether you’re looking for a lifelong companion or just a casual connection with someone. All you need to do is sign up for a free dating app, set up your dating profile with a photo and some information about yourself, and you’re all set to go.

Dating apps and sites also give you a great dating experience – you can converse with a potential match by chat or video chat and schedule dates or hookups easily. You don’t need to go through the strain of trying to meet people in bars or at the grocery store.

How Do Online Dating Sites Work?

Dating sites offer search options that allow you to view other singles according to your preferences, interests, and the type of relationship you’re looking for. 

Some of them also have additional products and services, like algorithms that match you with people you might like – a match based on your personal info or even who you’ve crossed paths with.

Talking to other singles on dating sites is usually possible when using free apps, but you’ll probably have to pay extra on some sites in order to be able to schedule dates.

Who Should Use Online Dating Apps?

Online dating apps can be used by everyone. If you’re looking to meet someone, no matter the purpose, dating apps are an easy way to swipe through a selection of like-minded people looking for the same thing.

If you’re looking for a serious relationship, there are dating apps specifically dedicated for that, like eharmony. If you’re looking for a casual hookup, BeNaughty is a great platform for that. On most dating apps and sites, you can filter people by what they’re looking for, and save some valuable time.

You can also use dating apps to find people with similar interests, backgrounds, hobbies, and even mental illnesses, so there’s something out there for everyone.

What You Need to Know Before Choosing a Dating Site

Before subscribing to an online dating site, ask yourself these questions to determine the best fit for you:

What type of relationship are you looking for? As we all know, some dating sites are famous for hookups, while others are more geared towards long-term relationships. Deciding which type of relationship you’re looking for is a good first step in choosing the site that will yield you the most success.

Which features are important to you? Are you more concerned with showing off your smile or your personality? Do you want to scroll through pages of user profiles or have matches chosen for you? 

Some sites put the emphasis on photos, while others offer questionnaires to highlight your personality. Some leave it up to you to find your match, while others deliver matches straight to your inbox. Choosing how you want to highlight yourself and be introduced to others is a great way to whittle down the choices.

How much money are you willing to spend on a subscription? Dating sites run the gamut of prices, from free to upwards of $30 per month. Setting a limit on how much you want to spend and then exploring the sites that fall within your price range will give you the best shot of choosing one that meets both your budget and your preferences.

How Much Do Dating Sites and Apps Cost?

The average cost of a dating site subscription is around $220-250 per year, which works out at roughly $20 per month. 

Many of the best dating sites offer free sign up or a free trial period. However, to unlock all features and communication tools, you’ll need to subscribe. Consider the features, matchmaking and search capabilities, and overall quality of the sites as you compare prices. As with most things, you get what you pay for.

Joining a dating site is a smart investment. If you put yourself out there, you won’t need to subscribe for long. After all, it’s worth it — this is your future and happiness at stake. 

Which Dating Sites Are Actually Free and Are They Worth It?

Dating sites and apps usually offer free sign-up and basic functions, but you may be required to pay to use more advanced features. So what qualifies them as free dating sites?

A free dating site will give you enough features to be able to go on dates without having to pay. For example, the ability to message. If a dating site only allows you to send someone a couple of messages, and you can’t receive messages back without paying a fee, it wouldn’t be considered free. If it has time limits, it would not be considered free either.

Free dating sites will only charge you for additional features that aren’t necessary to meeting your match, like promoting your profile or being able to use emojis in messages.

If you’re wondering whether a free dating app is worth the time and effort, consider how much you want to be invested in the app. If you want to be able to message people freely and schedule dates – and encounter less scammers who use free accounts, perhaps the best solution is to get a premium account.

Choosing the Right Dating App for Your Needs

There are many reasons why you might choose to use a dating app. And there’s such a wide selection of different dating sites to choose from, depending on what you prefer, so choosing the best dating site for you can be tricky. That’s why we’ve put together this list, which we update periodically – in order to maximize your chances of meeting your perfect match.

General dating sites

  • Senior Dating Sites – If you’re over 50, single, and looking for your perfect match, these dating sites and apps will help you find like minded individuals to connect with.
  • LGBTQ+ Dating Sites – No matter your preferences or sexual identity, there’s something for everyone on these dating apps. Whether you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer, you can find your perfect match for casual flings, hookups, or serious relationships right here.

Best dating sites for those who have religious preferences

  • Dating Sites and Apps for Christian Singles – Are you of Christian faith or looking to date someone who is? This list of our best Christian dating apps will introduce you to people of similar beliefs and values more easily than any church singles event could.
  • Dating Sites and Apps for Muslim Singles – If you’re looking for Muslim individuals to date, look no further than these sites and apps. They are specifically meant for Muslims searching for that special someone.
  • Dating Sites and Apps for Jewish Singles – These dating apps have a large pool of Jewish people who are single and ready to mingle. If you’re Jewish or interested in dating Jewish singles, you can easily find a potential match by signing up to one of these sites.

Best dating sites for those who Have ethnic preference

  • Black Dating Sites – If you’re looking to meet black singles, choosing a dating app that has a significant black membership is key. If that’s the case, look no further than these dating sites.
  • Asian Dating sites – Whether you’re Asian or would like to meet Asian individuals, it’s important to make sure the dating site you’re using isn’t a scam. Fortunately, there are plenty of Asian dating sites for you to choose from.

How Has COVID-19 Affected the Dating Game?

There’s no doubt that COVID has made things harder for singles, but singles have proven to be nothing if not resourceful. Online dating sites have flourished during the pandemic, with couples setting up romantic Zoom dates or flirting through their masks during socially-distanced rendezvous in the park.

Of course not everyone may share the same commitment to safety, so it’s important to communicate your expectations clearly so that you and your date are on the same page.  

How to Avoid Scams on Dating Sites

Unfortunately, there are plenty of bad actors in the online dating world. Here’s are some tips for avoiding scams or abuse:

  • It’s best to choose a dating platform with strong security measures. 
  • A dating site that costs money is less prone to having scammers than a free one.
  • Ask to see social media accounts before agreeing to meet in person, and listen to your gut when something doesn’t feel right.
  • Don’t forget that a good dating site will have services in place to assist you when you encounter abusive or suspicious users online.

First Date Tips

1. Be honest and clear about your intentions. Start your relationship on the right foot by communicating your wants, needs, and boundaries before planning to meet someone off a dating app. Honesty also includes featuring recent photos on your profile that actually look like you. 

2. Be safe. It’s always best to take precautions before meeting someone in person—especially for the first time.  

Ask to see their social media accounts or other proof that they’re who they say they are. Meet in a public place and share the time, location, and details of your date with a trusted friend. And you should definitely run a background check – you don’t want to be swindled by your next date! 

3. Be true to yourself. If there’s one thing online dating has taught us, it’s that there are countless singles out there looking to connect. So don’t compromise your integrity or comfort level. Be true to yourself and your needs, and if they don’t align with your date’s, then it wasn’t meant to be and you can head back online with your pride, dignity, and boundaries intact. 

4. Be flexible. Romance is an enigma, and it can come about in the most unexpected places. 

So think twice before you write someone off just because their interests are different from yours. Sure, you may not be crazy about hiking, jazz, or mini-golf. But if the chemistry is there, give it a shot. You never know.

5. Be respectful. Don’t catfish anybody. Convey your intentions, and respect people’s boundaries just as you want them to respect yours.
 Don’t waste anybody’s time. We’re all just trying to find love out here.

6. Stay positive. Some dates are a bust. It happens. But try not to let it discourage you. Remind yourself that there are many great people out there, and all it takes is one magic date for your luck to turn around.

Other Brands We Reviewed

This list of top ten dating sites is composed of companies that chose to partner with Top10.com. In total, we reviewed over 40 brands when doing our research into dating sites, with new brands being reviewed on a regular basis. Interested in learning about the prices and features of some big dating sites that don’t appear on this list? Check out our in-depth reviews of some of these big names in dating:

Love Is Out There, Find It Today

The days of blind dates and meeting on the street are over. Dating apps are the easiest way to find a relationship in 2022. They’ve worked for thousands of couples around the world, and they can work for you too! Whether you’re seeking Mr. Right or Mrs. 

Right Now, online dating is a process, and it can get tiring after a while. Test out different websites until you find one that works for you and scores you the type of relationship you’ve been seeking for so long. We wish you the best of luck in your dating journey.

Dating sites are definitely the most popular way to meet a partner these days. The convenience of apps and sites far beats approaching random people in the wild. And whether you’re looking for a long-term relationship or some casual fun, the dating site options are numerous.

But deciding where to start can be overwhelming. I took into consideration everything from each service’s dating pool to whether it provides daily matches to whether it’s a free app or a paid service. A new person that fits your exact dating profile is sure to be out there.

Here’s an overview of the best dating sites on the market. My recommendations are based primarily on my own experiences in the online dating arena as a woman, with some word-of-mouth impressions from friends thrown in for good measure.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for these top dating sites or apps, start chatting and maximize your chances of meeting your match. We’ll update this list periodically.

Best dating sites

BumbleBest for confident women
TinderBest for quick and easy hookups
OKCupidBest free dating site
HingeBest for serious relationship seekers
Coffee Meets BagelBest for breaking the silence
HappnBest for missed connections
The LeagueBest for people with high standards
HerBest for lesbian, bisexual and queer women
CloverBest for confirming a date
Plenty of FishBest for conversations
MatchBest for someone with money to spend
eHarmonyBest for marriage seekers

eHarmony/Apple

eHarmony

eHarmony was one of the pioneers among online dating site options, and — while I haven’t personally used this one — we all remember the pitch for online daters, thanks to years of TV commercials: The service matches couples based on “29 dimensions” of compatibility and interests (as determined by a thorough relationship questionnaire and personality test). While you can review the profiles of your prospective matches for free, you’ll need to pay to unlock the full features of the service. There’s a three-month plan and a six-month plan, and they come with a guarantee: If, after three months of paid membership and communicating with at least five members, you’re not satisfied, eHarmony will refund your money. Despite a rocky road that eventually involved a high-profile lawsuit, the site finally added same-sex dating in 2013. I have mixed feelings about using the site myself, but it’s at least technically more inclusive now.

See at eHarmony

Bumble

Bumble is basically Tinder for women… and on a timer. Bumble is a free dating app that requires women to message first. If the guy doesn’t message back within 24 hours, he loses the potential dates. Because that’s the one thing my love life was really missing: arbitrary time limits.

The timer is designed to encourage contact and some people really do appreciate that feature. But if you’re someone who procrastinates, Bumble may not be for you. Because women must message first, Bumble tends to weed out the more insecure males from the dating pool. However, the rate of overly confident men tends to be higher than I’ve seen on other apps. Bumble also has a BFF feature to help you meet new people, but that’s really not our focus, so I’ll save it for another time.

See at Bumble

Hinge

Hinge

Hinge finally won me over, becoming my favorite dating app. Originally the app focused on common connections and mutual friends that you and a potential partner shared on Facebook, which was a gimmick I was never sold on. But it has since pivoted away from this model. Hinge has designed the app to make user profiles more engaging (and helpful) than on apps like Tinder. You have the option of displaying a lot of useful information that could be deal breakers: Your political leanings, your religion, your alcohol consumption frequency or even your interest level in having children someday. The prompts provided by Hinge make it easy to create more engaging profiles. Hinge’s current slogan is “designed to be deleted,” so if a potential match for a serious relationship is what you’re looking for, this is the dating app I would recommend.

See at Hinge

OkCupid

OkCupid, how you confuse me. I have friends who’ve met their ideal match and even spouses through OkCupid. My last serious relationship came from the OkCupid dating service. In fact, I’ve been on OkCupid on and off, for roughly the last 11 years. Profiles are a lot more in-depth than most online dating sites and if you answer a seemingly endless series of questions (much like a personality test), they will spit out a reasonable Match/Enemy percentage ratio on profiles to help you gauge compatibility based on interests.

Changes in the last few years have made OkCupid a bit more like Tinder (they’re owned by the same company), focusing more on swiping and eliminating the ability to message a user without matching with them first. Online daters can still send a message — it just won’t show up in the recipient’s inbox unless you match. Because who doesn’t enjoy sending a thoughtful message to someone who might never see it? However, OkCupid has pointed out that these changes did help lower the number of offensive messages and fake profiles people received, which might be a worthwhile trade-off. Unfortunately in my experience OkCupid has become a bit of a dating ghost town.

See at OkCupid

Happn

Happn matches you with people who are located nearby. It’s a cool concept and helpful for people who want to meet someone in a more organic manner. That said, I’ve never met a single person who actually uses the app.

After signing up, Happn showed me 68 people it said I’d crossed paths with in the preceding 3 hours, though I hadn’t left my apartment all day. This might be helpful if you’re looking to date your immediate neighbors (or Uber drivers), but I don’t see the attraction when competitors like Tinder already show the distance between you and other users. Frankly, if I saw an attractive guy in a coffee shop, I’d just approach him rather than check to see if he’s on Happn. The app seems designed for people who don’t want to use online dating sites but also don’t want to approach people in real life. Pick a lane.

See at Happn

Her

Most dating apps are fairly LGBTQ inclusive. Still, it’s nice to have an app to call your own. Her is tailored to lesbian, bisexual and queer women. It’s a worthy notion — but the app has some bugs and glitches that made it frustrating to use. Most of my queer female friends have told me they found the app “just OK” and not perfect and that they usually end up back on Tinder or Bumble. Still I checked it regularly for some time and had a few pleasant conversations with actual human beings. Isn’t that all we’re really looking for in a dating app?

See at Her

Clover

Clover tried to be the on-demand version of online dating sites, letting you order a date much like you would a pizza. It also provides numeric match predictions based on compatibility and interests, though it isn’t entirely clear how those numbers are calculated.

I was on Clover for quite some time, but had since forgotten it existed until I started to compile this list. It strikes me as a less-successful hybrid of OkCupid and Tinder with a relatively small user base, even though I live in an urban area with plenty of people who use a wide variety of dating apps. Clover says it has nearly 6 million users, 85% of whom are between the ages of 18 and 30.

See at Clover

Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel hopes to offer people better-quality matches by sending curated daily matches, or “bagels,” each day at noon. They suggest ice-breakers for first messages and the profiles are more in-depth than Tinder. For people who like a little extra hand-holding, CMB isn’t the worst option. However, I found the app confusing to use, with too many features and a lot of gimmicks. I shouldn’t have to look up online tutorials to figure out how to use a dating app. Plus why call matches Bagels?

I was also disappointed in the notifications, which I found too pushy. CMB was constantly “gently” reminding me to message people I’d matched with. I eventually disabled the app after receiving the following notification: “Show [match name] who’s boss and break the ice today!” Should a potential future relationship be rooted in a hierarchical power dynamic? At the end of the day, I have friends who’ve had the perfect match on CMB, but it isn’t one of my favorite online dating apps. 

See at Coffee Meets Bagel

The League

The League is an “elite dating app” that requires you to apply — and supply your job title, college and LinkedIn profile. Big cities tend to have long waiting lists, so you might find yourself twiddling your thumbs as your application to be one of the elite singles on the app is reviewed. (Of course, you can pay to expedite the process.) The exclusivity can be a draw for some and a turnoff for others, but I’ll let you in on a secret: I’ve seen most of the profiles I come across on The League on other dating apps, too. So at the end of the day, you’ll probably see the same faces for potential dates on Tinder, if you aren’t deemed elite enough for The League.

See at The League

Tinder

Whether you’re looking for a casual hookup, potential date, friendship or an LTR (long term relationship), Tinder has you covered. It’s basically the first stop for those entering the dating world. If you want to play the odds when it comes to online dating, you need to be swiping where everyone’s swiping.

On the upside, the profiles are brief, which helps you to make decisions quickly. The downside is that a short dating profile makes it harder to figure out what a lot of people are looking for. Knowing very little about a person can also make initial messaging a lot more challenging. You’ll need to wade through a sea of profiles, which makes it easy to pass over people you might have given a chance under different circumstances. 

See at Tinder

Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish launched in 2003 — and it shows. The problem I come across over and over again is that POF is filled with bots and scams, even though it may have the most users of any dating app. POF’s issues don’t mean you won’t be able to find love on it, but the odds might be stacked against you. Unless you’re into dating bots. 

See at Plenty of Fish

Match

Match.com has a free version, but the general consensus is that you’ll need a paid subscription to have any luck. That’s a hangover from the early days of online dating sites, when a paid basic membership to a site meant you were serious about settling down. But my friends and I have long since come to the conclusion that you might be a little too eager to find a significant other or the perfect partner if you pay to get dates, particularly given the abundance of free dating apps. There are definitely paid features on some dating apps that are worth the price, but I’ve yet to be able to justify shelling out cash for love. 

See at Match

Have you had a good (or bad) experience with one of these services? Do you have any other online dating sites you’d recommend? Share your experiences in the comments or on social media. 

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